Thanks again for all the feedback – much appreciated!
Ed : I take your point about the tape moving, so trimmed it first and then marked the blade with a sharpie – then I removed the tape altogether and worked to the black line on the photo. I have a small hand cranked grinder (I’m sure I’ve seen Paul use one in one of his videos) which I used for the straights, and a Dremel type multi tool which I used for the curved sections then finished off with an oilstone and progressively fine grades of wet and dry paper wrapped round a thin dowel. Seemed to work OK but I think I was a little over cautious and will need another session before it’s usable – if the lead cutter is adjusted to make a clean pass, the curve is still not clearing the sole 100% – now looks like I’ve used a blunt penknife rather than my teeth, so progress of sorts 😉
YrHenSaer: Thanks for the tip about the book. If I manage to crack this one I’ll put it on my Christmas list – plenty of other Lost Art Press books too as well as tons of other stuff on the Classic hand Tools site :). I’ve attached some more photos of the spring lines following on from your previous comments. It seems to me that’s possibly another area causing the plane to misbehave, as you can see, the corresponding registration faces are far from 90 degrees to each other and even though the corner sits nicely, there’s still a lot of sideways play unlike most of the other moulding planes I’ve used. I was wondering about trying to true this face up and adding an infill piece to get it back to where it should be, but I’m not sure I’m up to that level yet (or if it would work).
After reading your comments about roughing out first I tried cutting two rebates along a practice piece and roughing out the curve with a block plane before starting – seems like it might be the way to go but until I’ve got the blade profile right it’s hard to tell.
Thanks again to you both for all the advice and taking the time to share your knowledge – I’ll be taking a break from this for a few days while fitting a fireplace (before getting back to the window!!) once I’m back in the shed I’ll let you know how I get on!